Child custody agreements can be among the more daunting aspects of undergoing a divorce. For men with children, there are many questions about how child custody is viewed by the legal system. In the past, child custody was traditionally awarded to the mother, but today, that assumption has begun to change. The general rule used by the courts is that custody must be in the best interests of the child. In many cases, primary physical custody may still be awarded to the mother but there are various factors courts consider when determining the child’s best interests.
How Is Custody Determined?
A divorce is a significant family event and brings with it financial and emotional stresses even in the most amicable of cases. While parents agree upon dissolving the marriage, it is key to keep in mind that for children, the process is more emotionally significant and can be traumatizing. For child custody agreements, there are many areas that go into the court’s determination of preserving stability and meeting the child’s best interests. While previously mothers most often retained physical custody, a more common arrangement today is for both parents to be awarded joint physical custody of the children. Physical custody broadly covers where the child resides and differs from legal custody.
In cases where both parents are seeking joint physical custody, or the father is seeking primary physical custody, judges will assess who has been the primary caregiver. Often, mothers were viewed in the courts as the primary caregiver and that can still be the case depending on family parenting roles. Typically, over history, the mother was the parent who had taken time away from the workplace to provide for basic needs from birth and be the main emotional and physical support in early childhood. For a father seeking primary or joint custody, a skilled child custody lawyer can provide advice on the factors that will be weighed in court.
Factors in a Custody Case
Courts look at different factors when deciding who gets custody, including the child’s own wishes, more so in the case of older children or teenagers, each parent’s mental and financial stability, and the physical location of the homes. Courts also consider the emotional upheaval of the divorce and any role one parent may play in fostering resentment or discord toward the other parent. In divorce, the best policy is to remain civil and positive with children regarding the other parent. This is not only helpful for a legal custody case but best for the child’s emotional well-being. A child custody battle that turns contentious can have long lasting psychological effects and contribute to the child’s feelings of anger, abandonment, and depression.
For a parent who is ending a marriage and working to plan a suitable child custody arrangement for all involved, it is critical to plan. A plan for the child’s physical custody is more than simply a legal case; it is part of a long-term plan for the healthiest future possible for your child.
Media Child Custody Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Help Clients Seeking Child Custody in Divorce Cases
Our Media child custody lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. are experienced family law practitioners who can guide you and strongly advocate for you through the process of child custody. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients from the surrounding areas, including Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County. Please contact us through our online form or call us at 610-565-3701 today for a free consultation.